RAG Meetings

RAG observing session at Rosliston Forestry Centre 14/8/2020

Our first observing session after Covid 19 pandemic lockdown. Predicted to be cloudy, it partially cleared, allowing us to view Jupiter, Saturn, M27, M57. Other attendees saw several meteors, most of which were consistent with a Perseid radiant – I missed all of them as I was always looking in the other direction!

Photos of Jupiter below taken with hand-held Samsung S10+ phone through Orion UK 10 inch Dobsonian telescope by myself.


Andy’s Star Party! (Remote)

Had a great time last night. We really enjoyed chatting as the sun set. As it got dark we got set up and had a bit of practice with our kit. We even managed to see the phase of Venus. I think we learnt quite a lot. We’ve gone through everything today and noted down what we learnt. Sorry there are no good pics to share, just the evidence that we were there. Shame we didn’t see the Starlink Satellite Train. We’ll just have to keep on trying.

Group observing 29th November RAG

Well, it was a very cold night but great fun, with loads of people taking part. I managed to get some quite pretty Orion shots.

Setup was SW 102 F5 refractor with a T2 to 2″ adaptor containing a 2″ Optolong UHC filter connected to an EOS 750D camera. This is the processing of the first of 3 sets of subs that I took. I like the colours. The pictures of the scopes were taken with iPhone 7 and NightCap app

I enjoyed the evening and it was nice to see some many members, and non-members involved

Peter Bolas Lecture & Chairman’s Certificates 18/10/2019

This meeting featured RAG’s annual Peter Bolas Memorial Lecture given by guest speaker Dr. Martin Braddock, talking about: the challenges facing astronauts for prolonged and deep space travel and the need for space medicine. The lecture was very exciting and kept us pinned to our seats!

After the lecture, Martin and Andrew (Chair of RAG) gave out the RAG Chairman’s Awards to members of our group who have made a significant contribution to the work of RAG.


Dr. Martin Braddock’s lecture:


Martin and Andrew (Chair of RAG) give out the Chairman’s Awards 2019:                                

Martin and Andrew:  

Nightworld at Rosliston Forestry Centre 26/7/2019

Many members of RAG attended Nightworld tonight at Rosliston Forestry Centre. This annual event is open to the public and involves astronomy, bat walls, moths, and a variety of other night time science and conversation activities.

Thanks to Damian who provided transport for me following my operation, I was also able to attend and had a great time!

Many members of the public also learnt about telescopes and astronomy c/o RAG, also cloud and drizzle prevented any actual observing of the night sky. I wonder if a subscription to an online telescope service would be a good idea to give us some access to the night sky during these events even when it is cloudy or rains? One for the future to consider.


RAG Monthly meeting 28/6/2019

Our June ‘End of Month’ Meeting, this next Friday, 28th, has a ‘double bill’ in terms of Guest Speakers. The room was virtually full to capacity with folks sat on the tables at the back as well as on the chairs.

The beginning of the evening saw the return of Dr Martin Braddock. Many of RAG Members responded to his request for our ideas about the Five Challenges for the colonisation of Mars. Indeed, one of our Mid-Month Meetings held a discussion that produced a plethora of ideas to add to individual replies. Heather sent all these to Martin, who has now collated all his results from a number of Astro Societies. He came along to share with us the results – what is it that amateur astronomers think are the biggest issues facing potential colonisers on Mars? Martin is an exciting and knowledgeable speaker and he expertly addressed a number of questions from the floor afterwards, including some from yours truly!

After the coffee break, our very own Lee Bale continued with his series of talks on stars. Tonight, our brains got stretched somewhat as we tried to grasp how a nebulous cloud contracts into stars that join the main sequence on the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. It involved learning about four different nuclear fusion pathways……..

Two excellent speakers – my only concern is that we are raising the bar on quality of talks so high that I ask how can we maintain it in the future?


Dr Martin Braddock:


Lee Bale:


Guest speaker at RAG tonight 31/5/2019 – ‘Hunting Out Young Stars Project – Citizen Science’ (Dr Dirk Froebrich, Univ. of Kent)

May 31st 2019 – Guest speaker @ RAG ( DF) – ‘Hunting Out Young Stars Project – Citizen Science’ (Dr Dirk Froebrich, Univ. of Kent).

Brilliant lecture tonight from Dr Dirk Froebrich – who drove all the way up from the University of Kent. His Talk was on the Citizen Science Project ‘Hunting Out Young Stars’ – HOYS-CAPS. The concept is fascinating, and has tempted some of us to assist Dr Froebrich and his Team, by contributing to their research – uploading our photos of the night sky.
Contact details for the team can be seen in the photos below from the lecture tonight.